Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war last week, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The U.S. and Britain were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly on the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as a public good, and not under exclusive patent rights.
If we do not address the intellectual property rights issue in this pandemic, we are likely to see a repeat of the AIDS tragedy. People died for 10 years as patented AIDS medicine was priced at $10,000-15,000 for a year’s supply, far beyond their reach.
Finally, it was Indian patent laws—that until 2004 did not allow for such patents—that helped people to get AIDS medicine at less than a dollar a day, or $350 for a year’s supply. Today, 80% of the AIDS medicines in the world come from India. For big pharma, profits trumped lives, and they will continue to do so unless we change the world.Trump declares COVID-19 vaccine war, but can he hold the world hostage? – People’s World